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6 Jun 2006 : Column 599W—continued

Mr. McNulty: The development of strategic forces will ensure that they have the necessary capacity, capability and resilience to provide the required
6 Jun 2006 : Column 600W
standard of level 2 policing whilst preserving and strengthening level 1 policing.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations he expects to be closed if constabularies are merged. [67095]

Mr. McNulty: The management of the police estate and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the chief constable, who are responsible for assessing local needs.

The Government are committed to every area in England and Wales benefiting from dedicated, visible, accessible and responsive neighbourhood policing teams by 2008. The new strategic forces will protect neighbourhood policing by reducing diversion of neighbourhood policing resource to deal with major incidents and serious crimes.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the public he estimates to be in favour of the merger of constabularies. [67100]

Mr. McNulty: No estimate has been made of the percentage of the public in favour of the amalgamation of police force areas. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has given notice of his intention to make the changes necessary to allow certain police force areas to merge and will consider any objections raised by the relevant police authorities and local authorities.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research he has commissioned on the (a) cost and (b) effectiveness of federations of police forces; and if he will make a statement. [47792]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 2 February 2006]: The Home Office commissioned work to assess the cost of proposals for restructuring submitted by forces and authorities, including those for federation, where sufficient cost data was provided.

Further details on these assessments are available at:

John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the representations he has received (a) in support of and (b) against the proposed merger of Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland police forces. [72458]

Mr. McNulty: In accordance with the provisions of sections 32 and 33 of the Police Act 1996, on 3 March 2006 the former Home Secretary (Charles Clarke) gave notice to police authorities, police forces and local authorities in the North East areas that he proposed to make an order amalgamating the Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria police areas with effect from 1 April 2007. This initiated a four months consultation period concluding on 2 July 2006. To date we have received one letter from Blyth Valley borough council in support of merger and none objecting to merger.


6 Jun 2006 : Column 601W

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations his Department received from Suffolk (a) for and (b) against the proposed merger of police forces in the East of England. [72535]

Mr. McNulty: The then Home Secretary (Charles Clarke) announced his intention to make the necessary changes to allow Suffolk Constabulary to merge with Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Constabularies on 11 April 2006. The statutory consultation period ends on 11 August 2006. To date, we have not received any representations from Suffolk Police Authority, the Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary or local authorities in the Suffolk Police Authority area.

Prison Service

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the policy of HM Prison Service on the transfer of (a) senior operational managers and (b) staff who are subject to investigation processes to other establishments and units; [74006]

(2) how many senior operational managers in HM Prison Service have been transferred to other establishments and units whilst under investigation in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; [74007]

Mr. Sutcliffe: All senior operational managers are mobile staff and under the terms of their employment are liable to be transferred to any Civil Service post, in the UK or abroad.

It is not Prison Service policy to routinely transfer members of staff who are subject to investigation, though in some cases it is not appropriate for a member of staff to remain at their usual place of work while an investigation into serious misconduct takes place. In such cases, a decision is first made as to whether detached duty to another location is appropriate before considering the suspension of a member of staff.

If the member of staff under investigation is a mobile grade they can be transferred to any Civil Service post on a period of detached duty. If the member of staff under investigation is non-mobile they can be placed on detached duty to a post within reasonable daily travelling distance of their home.

As to the number of senior operational managers transferred in these circumstances, comprehensive information is not collated centrally in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff at HMP Brixton are under disciplinary investigation. [74008]

Mr. Sutcliffe: 11 staff at Brixton are under disciplinary investigation at present.


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Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of non-operational grade staff employed at each HM Prison establishment in the London area receive the RHS allowance; and if he will make a statement. [74017]

Mr. Sutcliffe: It is assumed the hon. Member is referring to Required Hours Addition (RHA). The information requested is shown in the following table:

Proportion of non-operational grade staff employed at each prison in the London area receiving the Required Hours Addition (RHA)
Prison Number of non-operational managers E to G Non-operational managers (E to G) in receipt of RHA

Belmarsh

7

1

Brixton

7

Feltham

5

3

Holloway

15

2

Latchmere House

1

1

Pentonville

5

1

Wandsworth

16

6

Wormwood Scrubs

7

2


Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the circumstances in which the director of operations in HM Prison Service is required to approve managed moves at senior operational level. [74018]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Prison Service holds weekly succession planning committee meetings chaired by the Deputy Director General where the movements of senior operational managers are approved. The Director of Operations is a member of this committee.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the grade is of the Prison Service staff adviser to the Minister with responsibility for prisons. [74020]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The role of the Prison Service staff adviser to the Minister with responsibility for prisons does not have a specific grade associated with it. The post is filled by the most suitable candidate available at the time, and is not restricted to those with a certain grade.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the results of the most recent staff survey carried out in the Prison Service. [74024]

Mr. Sutcliffe: 71 per cent. of staff who responded to the 2005 Prison Service staff survey were satisfied with their job and 66 per cent. were proud to work for the Prison Service. Respondents were also positive about a range of aspects associated with working in prisons, line management, relationships with other staff and with prisoners, and training/development. They were least satisfied with the senior management teams, communication and facilities. The results have been discussed by the Prison Service Management Board and disseminated internally. Local plans are being drawn up to take follow-up action.


6 Jun 2006 : Column 603W

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the chief executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission concerning the effectiveness of HM Prison Service in deterring and preventing sexual harassment within the workplace. [74034]

Mr. Sutcliffe: There has not been recent discussion between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Equal Opportunities Commission chief executive on this matter.

Prisoners (Gender Realignment)

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of prisoners undergoing gender re-alignment procedures in each prison establishment for each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [74028]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Information is not collected centrally on the number of prisoners in London prisons undergoing gender reassignment. No estimate has been made on the cost of these procedures in prisons nationally.

It is the aim of this Government that prisoners should have access to health care that is broadly comparable to that enjoyed by the rest of the community. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition. Therefore, if medical treatment for it is recommended by a national health service gender dysphoria specialist for a person in prison custody, such treatment, up to and including gender reassignment surgery, should be allowed to proceed. We are currently preparing guidelines on the management, treatment and care of prisoners with gender dysphoria.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what national guidance is available concerning gender re-alignment treatment within HM prison service; and if he will make a statement; [74029]

(2) how many prisoners detained within London prison establishments are undergoing gender re-alignment procedures. [74027]


6 Jun 2006 : Column 604W

Mr. Sutcliffe: Information is not collected centrally on the numbers of prisoners in London prisons undergoing gender reassignment.

It is the aim of this Government that prisoners should have access to health care that is broadly comparable to that enjoyed by the rest of the community. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition. Therefore, if medical treatment for it is recommended by a national health service gender dysphoria specialist for a person in prison custody, such treatment, up to and including gender reassignment surgery, should be allowed to proceed.

We are currently preparing guidelines on the management, treatment and care of prisoners with gender dysphoria.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what national guidance is available concerning the use of strip search procedures for those prisoners undergoing gender re-alignment treatment within HM prison service establishments; and if he will make a statement. [74030]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The prison service national security framework document contains policy and guidelines concerning strip-searches, now termed full searches, of prisoners. This includes specific policy and guidelines for full searches of prisoners who are undergoing gender reassignment.

Prisoners' Compensation

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 1050W, on prisoners’ compensation, how many people were compensated under each category; for which crime each had been convicted; how many were compensated under the Human Rights Act 1998; and if he will publish the data for the years prior to 2004 with an explanation of why it is unreliable. [73272]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The following table details the number of prisoners compensated under each category recorded during the last two financial years. Before 2004-05 litigation statistics were not collated centrally and therefore reliable figures are not available. It would be inappropriate to publish inaccurate figures. To determine the crimes committed by each claimant or whether they were compensated under the Human Rights Act, would involve disproportionate costs.


6 Jun 2006 : Column 605W

6 Jun 2006 : Column 606W
Prisoners in England and Wales compensated by category during the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Number
2004-05 2005-06
Type of prisoner claim Claims settled Awards made by courts Claims settled Awards made by courts

Abuse/Harassment

1

0

2

0

Assault by Prisoner

12

0

3

0

Assault by Staff

12

0

3

0

Slip, Trip and Fall

29

1

26

1

Sport Injury

0

0

2

0

Miscellaneous Injury

31

2

30

0

Medical Negligence

7

1

10

0

Property

23

3

47

7

Unlawful Detention

31

0

41

0

Other

6

0

12

1

Total

152

7

176

9


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